iPhone 5: How To Order The Latest Apple Smartphone

By Sumit Passary | Sep 19, 2012 09:57 AM EDT

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Apple launched its much-awaited iPhone 5 on Sept. 12. Pre-order of the smartphone has already started, so here is a roundup of how to grab the hottest gadget of the month.

Apple stores will open at 8 a.m. local time on Friday, Sept. 21. Many iFans are likly to camp outside the store ahead of time, but for those who can brave the queue, physically heading to the nearest Apple store is a good option.

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Alternately, consumers can pre-order through Apple's online store and get free shipping. However, reports suggest that Apple sold out its initial inventory of iPhone 5 in just one hour. Many shoppers trying to pre-order the iPhone 5 on Apple's Web site were left disappointed as visitors to the site were greeted with a "We'll be back" notice.

Users who have pre-ordered online through the U.S. Apple Store should expect their scheduled shipment in two weeks, which seems to have been pushed back from the expected launch day on Sept. 21.

iPhone 5 is available through three major carriers in the U.S., Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon. Sprint is the only carrier offering iPhone 5 pre-orders on time for the Sept. 21 release date.New and existing customers can pre-order the iPhone 5 from these carriers; however, AT&T will ship the iPhone 5 in 14 to 21 business days, which means some AT&T customers will have to wait until October. Pre-orders from Verizon will be delivered on Sept. 28.

Customers can also visit the physical stores of these three carriers on Sept. 21. Store hours vary and some stores are planning to open early that day. Check the opening times of the local carrier store for Sept. 21.

Lesser known carriers like Cricket and C-Spire have also announced the availability of the iPhone 5 from Sept. 28. Cricket announced that iPhone 5 will be available on Sept. 28 in "select Cricket markets." Information regarding pre-order or the selected markets remains unclear. Similarly, C-Spire, a regional carrier in the U.S., will also offer the iPhone 5.

Wal-Mart is accepting pre-orders for the iPhone 5 and offering the 16GB version at a discount of $10 for $189.97 instead of the usual $199 price tag, reports Bloomberg. Best Buy is also accepting pre-orders for the iPhone 5 in stores and pre-orders are available in store on the launch date. Radio Shack is currently accepting pre-orders of the iPhone 5 in stores and will be selling the smartphone from Sept. 21. Sam's Club will also offer the 16GB version of the iPhone for a limited time;members of Sam's Club can pre-order the iPhone for in-store pickup at the U.S. warehouse stores on Sept. 21.

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